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How To Win an Information War

Peter Pomerantsev

From one of our leading experts on disinformation, the incredible true story of the complex and largely forgotten WWII propagandist Sefton Delmer - and what we can learn from him today.

In the summer of 1941, Hitler ruled Europe from the Atlantic to the Black Sea. Britain was struggling to combat the powerful Nazi propaganda machine, which crowed victory and smeared its enemies.

But inside Germany, there was one notable voice of dissent from the very heart of the military machine, Der Chef, a German whose radio broadcasts skilfully questioned Nazi doctrine. He had access to high-ranking German military secrets and spoke of internal rebellion. His listeners included German soldiers and citizens. American officials and even the President tried to to decipher what it meant for the future of the war. But what these audiences didn’t know was that Der Chef was a fiction, a character created by the British propagandist Sefton Delmer, just one player in Delmer’s vast counter-propaganda cabaret, a unique weapon in the war.

As author Peter Pomerantsev uncovers Delmer's story, he is called into a wartime propaganda effort of his own: the global response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. This book is the story of Delmer and his modern-day investigator, as they each embark on their own quest to seduce and inspire the passions of supporters and enemies, and to turn the tide of information wars.


Peter Pomerantsev is a Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, where he studies contemporary propaganda and how to defeat it. His first book, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, won the 2016 RSL Ondaatje Prize and was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award, Pushkin Prize, Baillie Gifford Prize and Gordon Burn Prize. His second, This is Not Propaganda, won the 2020 Gordon Burn Prize. His essay on authoritarian propaganda, 'Memory in the Age of Impunity', won the 2022 European Press Prize.


Category:  Second World War
ISBN:  9780571366354
Publisher:  Faber & Faber
On sale:  April 2024
Format:  Trade Paperback
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